Abbots Langley Transition Town Association (ALTTA) often known as “Abbots in Transition”

United Kingdom

“Abbots in Transition” (ALTTA) is a small voluntary group made up of local residents who feel passionately about making a positive difference to Abbots Langley.  Inspired by the “Transition Towns” movement which began in Totnes, Devon in 2005, and arose out of concern for the twin challenges of climate change and fossil fuel depletion, we are asking ourselves the question, “What would a low carbon Abbots Langley look like? One that depends less on fossil fuels, one in which everyone is empowered to share their skills and one in which we use the collective genius of our community to find more sustainable and resilient schemes mainly in the areas of food, transport, energy use/generation and waste reduction.  The Transition movement is non-political, comes from the grassroots of a community and is non-hierarchical.  It is solution focused and empowering and seeks solutions by building bridges, cooperating and discovering alternative ways of doing things that are sustainable and fair.

We aim to be a catalyst for positive change by raising awareness of these serious global issues and encouraging and supporting ideas that emerge from our community which address these challenges on a local and hence manageable level.

So far we have started a Community Market at the Henderson Hall several times per year which gives local people an opportunity to sell their home grown or made produce and goods and for us to celebrate and enjoy the creative potential of our village.  We are hoping to make this a more regular event as time goes on and are supporting the Henderson Hub project which would we feel make a regular market more feasible.

We have also supported a group of residents who felt strongly about the harmful habit of single use plastic bags, their effect on the environment and wildlife, and helped them form a group which worked with local shops, schools and residents and has resulted in a marked drop in their use as more people reuse their bags.

A key feature of “Abbots in Transition” is forming strong partnerships and supporting positive schemes and groups.  Abbots Langley Parish Council offered to set aside some land adjacent to new allotments in Primrose Hill for a Community Orchard if we could find a group to plant and maintain it as they did not have the resources to do this.  Through reaching out to the community we formed a group of volunteers and leader and 32 fruit trees (a mixture of local and heritage varieties) were planted by a mixed generational group of community volunteers.  This will be a local food resource for future generations and also the restoration of some native fruit trees, largely lost by the narrowing of varieties practiced by large supermarkets.

We formed a schools group called APES (Abbots Parish Eco Schools) which has met several times with most of the local primary schools.  This has resulted in an “eco picnic” in which eco reps from several schools met for a picnic in a local park then picked up litter, discussing what could be recycled.  The connection made by this initiative led to other cross-school projects.  The group have recently formed a Youth Forum of which 4 schools are so far members (3 primary, 1 secondary).  This group will meet every term and its purpose is:

to create an interactive forum made up of reps from all primary and secondary schools in Abbots Langley area.    

  • Provides a means by which eco or community friendly ideas can be shared
  • Facilitates cross-school cooperation such as visits or partnership working on schemes
  • Creates a more powerful collective voice for young people
  • Allows teachers to share ideas
  • Allows pupils to be eco ambassadors for their school and engenders pride
  • Provides a means by which ideas for community schemes can be formed and represented to the community at large through relevant groups (eg gardening society) or authorities (eg Parish, District or County councils)and therefore have a better chance of happening.  This may involve making funding bids for example, taking ideas out of the schools and into the community.